Police and military forces getting themselves clicked on the rooftop next to their 'catch' Pablo Escobar's dead body is one thing. But police officers walking into an area after receiving information of a dead body and having their own little photoshoot next to it, quite another. Two Vancouver Police officers have been reassigned to administrative duties after a video of them posing next to a dead body went viral.
Photoshoot by the beach, by the dead body
The officers who are seen posing by a dead were spotted by a passer-by who filmed the encounter which took place at Third Beach on the morning of February 24. Resident Zachary Ratcliffe shared the video on his Instagram account saying, "I'm here at the sea wall and there's a deceased human being on the beach and these two police officers are just taking a picture...Weird." He further explains the video, "The cop's taking a picture and he's joking around."
In the video Ratcliffe can be clearly heard asking the cops, "Is that a person? Is that a deceased person?" To which the officers, clearly unperturbed and unaware of them being filmed reply, "Yeah." The police had been called to the area around 8.30 a.m.
An investigation was ordered into the conduct of the police officers after the video went viral. The video was even referred to the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner (OPCC) for an investigation and review.
Is this how officers hold the scene?
Even though the Vancouver Police had earlier said that it was determined that the death was non-suspicious so the officers were just holding the scene until the coroner arrived. The footage immediately came in for widespread criticism as the conduct of the officers was called into question. One officer posed by the body lying near him and the other took photos. "What if you were a family, or a parent of the person by the beach? I just felt for the person on the beach and their family," Ratcliffe had criticised the officers.
Compassion is a must, more so for the cops
Simi Heer, director of public affairs for the VPD, had last week said in a statement, "The VPD does not condone, and strictly prohibits, officers taking photographs without an authorised purpose," adding, "We expect all our officers and civilian professionals to act in line with the values of our organisation, including integrity, compassion, accountability and respect."
This week, the Vancouver Police confirmed under Section 110 of the Police Act, the officers were now working in administrative positions while the OPCC investigation was ongoing.